Essay, Research Paper: Psychology College Paper


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Throughout history many women have been victims of domestic violence. Society
considered men to be superior to women because men were always in power
economically, legally, and religiously. This gave men the attitude that women
were inferior to them. Men harm their wives by beating them physically and
abusing them emotionally. Many of these women did not report the abuse that they
got from their spouses and families because they thought that no one would
believe them. By becoming informed with the causes, effects, and treatments of
domestic violence towards women in the United States, we can then contain the
damages that are done to women or at least get the message across to other women
that there is help to overcome this tragic display of affection. Domestic
violence is defined broadly as violent acts carried out by persons in a marital,
sexual, parental, or care-giving role toward others in reciprocal roles. Spousal
abuse may apply to couples engaged in a sexual relationship outside of marriage.
And child abuse may be penetrated by parents, siblings, step-parents, or live-in
boyfriends or girlfriends of the abused child`s parent (Rosen 3). Battered women
are defined as women that have been Victora 2 physically or emotionally abused
by their husbands or families. These women suffer from many different types of
domestic violence but the cause is just one abuse. Abuse happens to many women
but most of the time it is not reported to the police. Abuse is an underreported
crime, it is underreported for two reasons: a) it occurs in the privacy of one`s
home where there are typically no witnesses aside from family member`s to detect
and report it and b) though violence is by no means restricted to the lower
classes, middle- and upper class violence is likely to go unreported to the
police (Stets 3). Why it is not reported to the police could be the result of
the emotions that are building up inside the victim`s head. These women feel
apprehensive in reporting the abuse because they are scared of what the abuser
will do to them. They were afraid because if he found out that they called the
police he might hurt them or their children even more than he already did. The
lower class violence is usually reported because they deal with social services
more often than the middle and upper classes do. They are more educated in
knowing that public social control agencies can help them get through the abuse.
The middle and upper classes do not usually report these acts of violence
because they probably can afford a psychiatrists or a marriage counselor.
Abusive behavior begins in cycles and not everyday occurrences. This abusive
cycle is called the battering cycle and it contains three phases. The first
phase is the tension-building phase, the second phase is the explosion or acute
3 battering incident phase, and the third phase is the calm, loving phase. The
first phase is when the woman notices the man building tension and becoming very
edgy which causes minor violent episodes. Then the second phase begins when that
tension builds up higher and the man explodes in anger or in a blind rage that
revolves into a severe violent incident. And the third and final phase is when
the man apologizes and tries to win the woman back by showering her with gifts.
The abuse that women obtain towards them can be experienced with various types
of violence. Those types of violence can be anything from a minor push or shove
to something major such as threatening with a weapon. In the past, spousal abuse
has been treated as a fairly simple set of violent behaviors. The five most
common types of domestic or spousal violence are: 1) when a woman is thrown
against an object, 2) when she is hit with the man`s open hand or fist, 3) when
she is pushed or shaken roughly, 4) when she is hit with an object and the 5)
and most deadly of all is when a woman is threatened with a weapon (Rhodes 32).
The causes of domestic violence towards women in the United States are many but
the best known and lucid are the male gender attitudes of being number one. Men
have the idea that women are worthless and inferior to them. This concept
degenerates women to a lower class or form of life that can not allow men to see
women as their equals. According to Violence Hits Home, Karen Rosen reported
that men who abuse their spouses tend to have more 4 traditional gender-role
orientation than do non-batterers. She also suggests those abusive men tend to
be more controlling, dominating, and aggressive in order to get their needs met
(85). These men also believe that their abuse will help them to maintain power
in their families. Rosen also found out that witnessing marital violence as a
child was consistently related to abuse in adult relationships in other words
Being a member of a violent family is how each generation learns to be violent (
85 ). When a child is exposed to everyday acts of domestic violence then that
child is brought up to believe that domestic violence is acceptable and can be
done to their own spouses. Some men also abuse their wives in an act of
jealousy, anger, and aggression or poor impulse control. Men usually tend to
abuse women more often when the women involved are not their wives. Batterers
are more likely to be violent in non-family situations than men that are married
and do not batter their wives. According to Sandra Stith, a researcher of the
causes for domestic violence, Abusers were more likely than non-abusers to
believe that wife-beating is not only justified but acceptable ( 86 ). This
belief that violence is justified to maintain power may explain why men may
choose not to control their anger and frustrations. In an abusive man`s eyes
violence is not only justified but also acceptable.
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